Editor’s note: The Army’s People Strategy focuses on the entirety of human performance, developing leadership and optimizing performance for all components of Army readiness. Faces of TRADOC supports the Army's People Line of Effort by highlighting exceptional TRADOC team members through their stories. The campaign highlights the Army’s greatest asset, our people.
JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – When Walter Green joined the Navy in 1982, he thought he would serve for three years. Now 40 years later, he continues to serve as a U.S. Army civilian employee at the Training and Doctrine Command.
He came to TRADOC in 2017 as a volunteer through the Veteran Readiness and Employment program, which assists former service members with medical disabilities in finding employment. When he retired from the Navy in 2011, he hadn’t planned on working again, but through VR&E, he was able to dust off his skills and become part of the workforce again.
He felt prepared to take on this new challenge. Green felt his time in the Navy had taught him to be highly self-driven as he rose through the ranks of the Navy from enlisted Sailor to master chief petty officer, but he also understood that he had been out of the work force for many years. Volunteering at TRADOC allowed him to adjust to working as a civilian before he fully committed to the role.
“My goal is to try to make it as far as I possibly can. I like being challenged and it’s like I'm an outsider even though I’m retired military, because I don’t understand the Army,” he said.
Through his role as an individual augmentee tasking specialist, he receives directions from Army headquarters in Washington, D.C., for a specific military occupational specialty and grade of a Soldier and from that request he looks throughout TRADOC for a specialized Soldier who fits the need. Individual augmentees fill roles in units that become necessary after deployment and it is the job of the tasking specialist to figure out how to fill those roles with the Soldiers that are available.
Green considers his experience in the Navy as a unique perspective he brings to TRADOC. He always makes sure to ask questions because not only does it allow him to better understand, but it has the potential to help others reconsider the things they may take for granted as being common knowledge.
He also wants to make sure he’s asking the right questions when it comes to supporting the Soldiers he’s responsible for. As a new Sailor, he was not sure what to expect when it came time for basic training.
“I thought I was going to something like summer camp. So, I showed up to boot camp with dress clothes, like I might be going somewhere in the evenings and that wasn’t the case,” he said.
When it comes to requests he receives for individual augmentees, he wants to make sure he knows as much as he can about the assignment so he can provide the Solider with everything they need to be successful.
“First and foremost what I love is helping young Soldiers,” he said.
Why do you serve?
I love people. I love giving back to my community. Something that’s been recited to me, numerous times, is what John F. Kennedy said in 1961; “it's not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” That’s a foundation for me.
Why do you continue to serve?
I am who I am. I’m very regimented. I’m built for the military. I will always be a master chief petty officer through and through to my last day.
What's your personal mission statement?
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it’s worth your time. Do what is easy, right so when you face adversity, you shouldn't have a problem facing wrong.
How have you have seen yourself grow and develop here at TRADOC?
Exponentially. I didn’t know anything about the Army and I felt so dumb. So for the longest time, I would hear people saying things and I just didn’t have a clue what they were talking about. The more you get acclimated, comfortable and start settling in, the light bulb shines a little bit brighter. I’m able to converse now, but I don’t speak that full Army language yet.
What would you say to someone thinking of working at TRADOC?
I would definitely support it because I had a long conversation with my daughter. I brought her a booklet and just showed her about TRADOC and all the different things they do. There’s a lot of knowledge and a lot of talent here.